Though many details about his early life are in dispute, scholars agree that Arnold was born in New York City and that his father may have been the Reverend George B. Arnold.
Analyzes the treatment of race and humor in Vanity Fair, a popular antebellum periodical that a number of the Pfaff's bohemians contributed to. Specifically, considers the irony that, "while the Bohemians associated with Vanity Fair gladly enlisted in the battle to free humanity from the shackles of social repression" they did not throw their support behind the abolitionist effort (31). Instead, the Civil War-era Vanity Fair was marked by pronounced racism towards African Americans, which it expressed through a variety of attempts at humor.
The article mentions William Stephens as a co-founder and editor of Vanity Fair along with his brothers (29). It also alludes to his political conservatism, hostility to abolition, and conflicts with Charles Godfrey Leland (33, 36).
The Vault at Pfaff's
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